Internet portal NetEase.com has reported a slight profit in the quarter to June 30 after booking revenue from interest on about US$64 million in cash and from previously disputed advertising income that had not been recognised earlier. The company said its net profit was 38,000 yuan (about HK$35,800). Revenue was 38.5 million yuan, 61 per cent higher than the previous quarter and six times the 5.5 million yuan from the same quarter last year. Non-advertising revenue was 30.3 million yuan, including paid services such as mobile short messaging, added electronic mail storage, personal homepages and online dating pages. The higher revenues, including those from advertising, possibly reflect renewed market confidence in NetEase. The company restated income from last year this spring and appointed new executives, helping to reverse a slide in its Nasdaq-listed shares. In the latest quarter, NetEase declared a profit of one US cent per share. Acting chief executive Ted Sun said the previously unrecognised 3.2 million yuan in fees came from several cases where advertisers disputed charges from as early as 2000. Arbitration was settled only recently, he said. 'That would be some revenue that we have not been recognising in the past due to uncertainties at that time and we were able to sort out that certainty during the last quarter. So we were able to report that as other income. There were also some over-accrued expenses,' he said. Another two million yuan in the other income category came from interest income. The company estimates it has about 25 million unique users, out of 65 million registered users. Rivals Sohu.com and Sina.com report similar numbers. The key for the three firms has been to convert those users into paid subscribers and make their loss-making companies profitable. Mr Sun said NetEase's average daily short messaging service volume had risen from 1.7 million messages per day at the beginning of the year to 5.4 million at the end of June. Users pay fees of between 0.01 yuan to 30 yuan, depending on the service. NetEase plans to launch two massive multi-player online role-playing games this month after having already tested them. Pristontale was licensed from a developer in Korea and drew more than 47,000 simultaneous users during a free trial. Seventy per cent of NetEase's audience is between the ages of 15 and 25. Mr Sun said site traffic had not been affected by the recent closure of many of China's Internet cafes, listed by about 18 per cent of respondents to a recent government agency survey as their main location for logging on to the Internet. Sina is expected to report results later this week, while Sohu recently said its loss was US$870,000 in the quarter ended June 30, on revenues of US$6.13 million.